Saturday, July 21, 2018

Addendum to our last entry

When I wrote the other day, I left off three things I wanted to share.  I didn't want to wait too long before writing about them so I'm adding them now.

First is the happy news story.  We had not seen our dear friends Diane & Jim Hubert since they came out to Quartzsite, AZ for a week in January, so it was great news when she said they wanted to come visit us in Hemet last week.  They came out for lunch on Tuesday, the day before we came back to Wilderness Lakes.  It turned out that it was also their 43rd wedding anniversary, so it was a grand day to get together!  We had a yummy lunch of pasta salad, fruited jello, French bread, deviled eggs and for dessert I made Oreo Ice Cream Pie.  We played Mexican Train and RummyKube that afternoon.  After we played Train, the guys went to wash Jim & Diane's car.  While they were gone the wind started whipping the awning around so she & I TRIED to roll the awning up.  I've helped Jim to do that, but never done it without him.  We got it part way down and it stuck.  Finally Diane spotted what we had not done, but we couldn't get it to open up enough to release what needed to be opened.  Diane called the guys and they were almost back to the park.  I held onto the strap until they got back and they got it to release and roll back up!  What an adventure that had been.  Finally they had to leave to go back to Silent Valley, but not before they agreed to come back and visit us this NEXT Tuesday here at Wilderness Lakes.  Yippee again.  I do hope they will bring their two adorable dogs, Lucy and Daisy when they come this next time.  Our dogs will become over-excited at first, but then it will be great.

The second thing I wanted to share is a warning.  This week for about three days Jim and I were getting phone calls (after the first on each phone we stopped answering them) that claimed to be from the IRS.  In the recorded message they were trying to tell us that the IRS had been trying to reach us (not true) and this was our last warning to settle our debt with the IRS (we don't have such a debt) before the IRS would file a lawsuit against us.  This is just a scam and if you get such a call, hang up.  Do not do as they ask.  Do not agree to call them back or to pay any kind of payment.  I called the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report this scam caller.  The recording I got said that they are aware of this scam and unless I had made the mistake of paying money to the scammers (we did NOT) then we didn't have to report it as they are already working to stop these people.  It is sad that hackers and scammers do things like this to rip people off this way.  Another scam is going on now in Los Angeles county where people are being called, supposedly by the Dept. of Water and Power and told they have not paid a bill and their service will be turned off if they don't give banking information to make a payment immediately.  Both the public utilities and the IRS say they will not contact you by phone unless they have already tried to reach you by mail.  Please everyone, be very wary of anyone trying to make you pay money by phone for claims of debts you supposedly have not paid.  If you think you might owe the payment, call the creditor directly.  Do not give banking information over the phone to anyone who has called you to demand money.  If you should be called like this, you should notify your public utility company and tell them what the person said and the phone number that they called you on.  Be careful and be wise.  Most of can NOT afford to be ripped off like this.  

And last but not least, have a nice weekend, but if you are in the part of the country that is under excessive heat warnings, please do whatever you need to do to keep cool and properly hydrated.  Keep your pets cool and well hydrated too.  Don't take any chances.  I read in the Hints to Heloise column today a very good reminder that I had known but forgot to mention a couple weeks ago.  Remember that pavement or gravel can get very, very hot and can burn the pads of your dog's feet.   Whenever possible, walk them on the grass.  If you can, get them light booties or socks to protect their feet.  Do NOT wet their feet before going outside as that can increase the risk of burns.  As much as possible, avoid taking your pets out for prolonged periods during the hottest part of the day.  Long walks or outdoor play time is best in the cooler, early morning or evening hours.

Bye for now and God bless you all.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Back at Wilderness Lakes, and Happy to Be Here

Since I had appointments in the Menifee area for a few weeks, we put off going up to Silent Valley.  We had already extended our stay here by five days, so we went to a park in Hemet for seven days.  We stayed there once back in January before we left for Quartzsite, AZ.  There was one HUGE difference this July this park was over-run with ants!  Big black ants, small red ants, and millions of brown ants.  They, of course, got into the RV and made life pretty miserable.  We used a powerful insecticide OUTSIDE of the RV but inside we could only use a pet safe product called EcoSmart.  It is good in that it kills on contact, but to be safe around pets it has NO residual effect, so the ants kept coming back again, and again.  Yesterday we came back to Wilderness Lakes and unfortunately we brought some hitch hikers with us.  We sprayed and sprayed and today they are mostly ALL gone!  Yay.

We found a pretty nice 50 amp site when we arrived and got settled in as quickly as we could.  It was a back in site next to the canal so we are visited by geese and a beautiful blue heron. 
I took pictures with my phone, but when I sent them to my computer, something went wrong and I was not able to open them, so I am trying again.  Yay the pictures are here.

Since my last post was before I started my therapy for the vertigo, I will now have to bring everyone up to date on that.  Last week, on Monday I went to Walker Physical Therapy in Sun City.  I was evaluated by Natalie Walker who said that based on my symptoms I was a good candidate for the therapy to be effective.  Apparently for some people it just doesn't work well at all.  After the testing procedures were completed she began the therapy.  She warned me that it WOULD cause vertigo when she put me into certain positions, but I had not expected just HOW brutal it was.  It was so bad it actually made me cry!  After going through the whole procedure, she said if I could stand it, she would like to do it all again..............OMG.  I really wanted to get over this so I agreed to do it again.  The second time was slightly less awful.  When we left Jim had to almost carry me to the car.  We got home (to Wilderness Lakes) and I was nauseated, and spent the whole evening on the couch.  I went to bed early and when I woke up in the morning I felt much better.  We packed up and moved to Hemet on Wednesday, and I had another therapy session on Thursday.  I was very nervous about it and dreaded going back.  Much to my surprise, it was not nearly as bad as it had been on Monday.  After that session I went back to Hemet and felt OK.  Today was my third session.  The treatments were not as bad.  On Sunday I had cut back my dosage on the meclizine from twice a day to once a day.  She had me do some balance exercises, and that caused some dizziness but not nearly as bad as it had been.  

This is a picture of Natalie.  How can a person who looks so sweet put me through such agony?  Just kidding.  She wants me to stop taking the meclizine after the end of this week.  I have one more session with Natalie next Thursday, and she has strong hopes that my vertigo will be completely gone by then.  Yippee.  

On Moday we drove up to see Donna & George (my sister and her husband).  I will try to include a picture if I can get it to go from my phone to my computer.  Fingers crossed now.  It was great to see them again.

 Donna is having problems with her memory and panic attacks.  It has been very hard on George to take care of her, but he is doing the best he can.  The doctor has put her on hospice care, so a nurse's aid comes out to give her a bath three times a week.  We are going to go up again next week for a picnic up at Oak Glen where it is much cooler!  Next week is supposed to get up over 100+ again so we need to find places to keep cooler, and we want to see them as often as possible.

This 5th wheel is parked in the site we were in before we went to Hemet.

 These are called "toy Haulers" because the back end opens down to let one drive inside with motorcycles, golf carts or other off road vehicles.  Once one brings the "toys" out this can be an additional room inside the RV.  Many of them also open the back and have a patio with a screen to keep bugs out.  As you can see, this one has a side patio too.  Very nice, but not our "cup of tea".

Last week I stopped at Dollar Tree store for some cards, and found a couple things I just had to have.  The one on the left has a bobble-head, too cute.  And the one on the right, of course has the legs that dangle.  OMG.  

I try not to buy more owls, but some times I just have to get
some that I see.  Right now we have Bella hanging inside.  She's the blue owl that is cross-eyed, that I posted back when we had her hanging outside in Arrey.  She will go back outside later on.  Life is good.

By the way, last Monday we had Brad Miller Jr. over to see if he could fix our steps that wouldn't move in and out when we wanted them to move.  It took a lot of work and searching, but he did find the problem.  The original motor was shot, so we did have to replace that, but when we blew the rear tire between Tempe and Quartzsite on our way to Blythe, it severed the wires that had been connected to the motor for the steps.  Happy, happy, happy, our steps are working like new again.  It wasn't cheap, but still maybe $400 or $500 less than if we had needed to replace the whole step system.  Yay.  Thank you God.  

Yesterday when we packed up to come back from Hemet, it was quite hot outside.  It was less than 20 miles to get back here, but the packing up to travel and setting up when you get where you are going is the same, whether you go 20 miles or 200 miles.  We felt very lucky to find a 50 amp site, which means we can use both air conditioners at the same time.  We were able to back the RV into the site without much difficulty..........not always the case.  I walked the dogs while Jim started setting up.  It seemed like we got finished in record time.  Some days it takes forever to get the satellite to lock onto a signal and get t.v. reception.  Yesterday Jim set the dish outside, using the satellite AR app on his phone and came inside.  By the time I found the remote control up in the cabinet and turned the t.v. on.........we already had reception!  Thank you Jesus for helping us with all we had to do.

We had lunch, went over to the post office to pick up our mail and came back here to enjoy our location.  Because it was so hot, we both got showers and I did four loads of laundry with our little home washer and spin dryer.  All in all, the day went amazingly well.  I have told you again and again to begin your day with an attitude of gratitude.  We believe we are very blessed by God in all we do.  Praise God always.  My sister-in-law Judy always ends her emails with this phrase
F.R.O.G. which means Forever Rely On God.  I just love that idea.  We always pray for a safe trip whenever we travel, not just for US but for all the others that are sharing the road with us.  Sadly, this time of year we see an increase in road rage incidents.  There is just no reason for it.  If a driver cuts you off on the road, Praise God that you are still safe.  No matter what stupid things other drivers may do, you won't make things better by getting angry.  Instead, realize he or she made an error in judgement, and be grateful if no one was injured by it.  As I have said before, we cannot know what issues or stresses other people may be trying to cope with.  Jesus wants us to love our neighbors, and that means everybody out there.  Getting angry will NOT make things better for that person, OR for you.  It could make your blood pressure shoot up to dangerous levels, or even cause a stroke.  Again, praise God for protecting you.  Praise God and trust Him to watch over you and provide for you.  God loves you and He will not give you more than you can handle, especially if you ask Him to help you.

Have a wonderful week ahead and enjoy the life God has given you.  F.R.O.G. and thank you Judy for that phrase.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Still at Wilderness Lakes

We extended our stay here by five days to accommodate Jim's doctor's appointment at the Murrieta VA facility.  However, we had to again alter our plans for me to begin physical therapy for my vertigo.  Apparently, not all therapists are trained to deal with vertigo, and the one who is, didn't have an opening until July 9th.  We have to leave this park on July 11th, so we made a reservation for one week over in Hemet, and then we can come back for three more weeks here at Wilderness Lakes.  I am hoping that the therapy will be completed by then, or that she can teach Jim what to do, so we can finally go up to Silent Valley for 28 days.  We have friends up there that we are looking forward to seeing.  We have not seen them since they came out to Quartzsite, AZ for a week in January.  
I really thought my vertigo was getting better, and I almost thought I didn't need the physical therapy after all.  But I guess God felt I needed to be reminded of how much I do need to see the therapist.  Last night I experienced a pretty bad episode and today another one occurred that was at least twice as bad as last night.  I am only mildly dizzy if I sit still and don't turn my head side to side or look up or down!!!  
 I finally found Millie's sunglasses.  She had hidden them in the back of my closet!  She didn't appreciate wearing them, but we don't want her to develop cataracts.  When I put them on her, she acts like she can't see OR hear.  LOL.  We saw this owl hanging off the awning of a neighboring motorhome here in the park.  Two days ago a man stopped by while we were outside to admire our owls.  He said his wife loves them too, and has over 100 in her home and RV!!! 

A brief note here.  Camping World ordered the motor we needed to operate our outside steps.  Jim & Greg installed the motor and the steps still won't move!  After doing everything he could think of, without any success, Jim agreed to let me call someone out to try to fix them.  Monday we have Brad Miller Jr. coming out to see if he can fix them.  Keep your fingers crossed please.

We have not spent any more time outside than we had to as it has been excessively hot here in southern California.  According to the news, we hear that many cities have broken records, some that have held for almost 100 years!  Several areas have experienced power outages, some lasting over 24 hours.  At this point I wish to remind everyone to be very careful in such heat.  

First: be sure to drink an adequate amount of water to avoid dehydration.  Likewise, make sure your animals have plenty of fresh, cool water to drink.  

Second:  please check on older people who might need help at times like this.  Make sure they have water and keep cool.  Since using air conditioning can be expensive, use curtains, or shades whenever possible to keep the hot sunlight out of your home.  We also purchased coolers, called Arctic Air which are not as expensive to run, and do a pretty good job of keeping a small area cooler.  They have a small tank for water, and act as an evaporative cooler, for less money than using the air conditioner.  

Third:  PLEASE do not leave pets, children or older people in a closed up car.............not even for a few minutes!  It is horrifying how fast a closed car can reach lethal temperatures inside.  Please just do NOT take that risk, ever.  

Fourth:  I would like to suggest that if you need to cook or bake, do so as early in the day as possible.  Also, do NOT leave perishable foods out at room temperature after a meal.  Foods can go bad so quickly in this kind of heat.  This is a great time to try more fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which can be eaten raw or gently steamed.  It's very healthy AND won't heat up your home as much.

Fifth:  Do not stay out in the sun anymore than you have to.  Use a sunshade on your car window to help keep it cooler, and stay inside where it is cooler, whenever possible.  If you wish to save on the cost of cooling, go spend some time in your local library.  You can stay cool AND read a good book!  And while you are at it, you could take an older person with you.  Many older people don't get out very often and would really appreciate being invited to go places such as a library, or the grocery store when you are going. 

Sixth:  Please remember that in this heat, and low relative humidity, the fire danger is extremely high.  We saw on the news that over 60 separate areas in the western states are experiencing wild fires.  Many are burning out of control, and many homes and lives are at risk.  I just want to remind everyone to be vigilant and not do anything that might cause a fire.  If you are a smoker (I will pray that you might find the strength to quit) but if you are, do NOT ever throw ashes or cigarettes out of your car window.  Home owners are advised to clear all brush away from around their homes.  If you are in an area of fire danger, you might want to make up a "go bag" of what you would need to grab in a hurry if you had to evacuate from your home.  Include important papers, medications, some clothes, water to drink, and anything you could not bear to lose.  My advice is to be ready to go if the need arises, and then when they tell you to leave......GO.  I know you don't want to lose your home or your "stuff" but staying could put your LIFE in danger, and you might be putting others in increased danger if they have to come back later to try to rescue you!  You should also make sure you don't park cars where they might block the roads that fire trucks need to use to get to fire areas.  If they can't get to a fire, they can't fight the fire.

Seventh:  PLEASE do not abandon your beloved pets in a time like that.  If you are afraid, imagine how terrified they must also be.  Find a shelter that accepts pets, better yet, find out where you can go that allows pets, BEFORE you must rush out of your home.  Even if I had to stay with my pets in my car, I would never leave an animal behind in a fire!!!

As we  learned at Bible study with Pastor Bob Neral, we are supposed to be trying to become mature Christians, and that means asking ourselves "What would Jesus do?" In times like this, it might be easy to stay inside our air conditioned homes and not think about others less fortunate than we are.  I'm pretty sure that is NOT what Jesus would do.  If you can afford to, take food and bottled water and clothes to the places where the evacuees of the fires have gone.  Many of these evacuees left with little more than the clothes on their backs, so whatever you can offer, will be appreciated.  Since we live in a small space (our 35 foot motorhome) we have a rule that for every new thing that comes INTO our home, at LEAST one thing must go out.  Unless we are simply replacing something that broke or wore out, that means we make donations regularly to charitable organizations.  One of our favorites is the Salvation Army.  We also believe in donations to homeless shelters and animal shelters whenever possible.  If you have extra blankets, homeless and animal shelters will be glad to receive them, year round.  I would imagine these shelters could also use electric fans to help keep their rooms cooler too.  Animal shelters always need food for cats or dogs and cat litter is another item that can be donated.  Open your heart and offer your hands to others.  It will enrich your life, and remind you of what Jesus would want you to do.  

Just one more point that I would like to make.  It's so easy to look around and see others who have much more than we will ever have.  Please remember that it doesn't matter.  God will give you what you need.  Instead of focusing on who has more than you do, please remember those who have so much LESS than you do.  It will help you to recognize what is important, and to let go of feelings of envy, which can only hurt you.  God knows what you need and He will provide it.  The rest is unimportant.

Have a wonderful day and a blessed week ahead.  Jesus loves you, isn't that wonderful to know?